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Special Education & Learning Disabilities Resources: A Nationwide Directory
An Alternative School Route for At Risk Students

At Risk teens Alternative school programs across the USA

1585 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville IL 60048

Tel: 800-833-9235
Fax: 847-367-0367


Ombudsman Educational Services: an alternative education program for at-risk students

Programs in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee

Ombudsman gives middle and secondary school students who are at risk of dropping out an accredited alternate route to earn a high school diploma.

Ombudsman offers students personalized attention in small learning communities and a flexible schedule that accommodates family and work responsibilities. Students are on task the entire time they are in the learning center, allowing them to make the most of a compressed class day.

The result is that 85 percent of Ombudsman students all of whom are at risk of dropping out graduate, earn credits or return to their district school closer to or at grade level. Seventy-seven percent of eligible Ombudsman students graduated during the 2007-2008 academic year better than many school systems in the country.

Ombudsman believes that students learn best when they have control over their learning and are held accountable for it. Therefore, Ombudsman instructors are selected for their ability to work with young people who are at risk. They guide students to make good choices about their academic progress, their attendance, consideration for others and their ability to follow the rules in the learning centers.

Ombudsman also offers Ombudsman Plus, a program that provides a full range of services for students in grades six-12, including an accredited academic program, behavior modification and social skills development, transition services and services for students with behavior issues.

Ombudsman is a division of Educational Services of America (ESA), which is based in Nashville, Tenn.

Meeting the Individual Needs of Each Student:

The Ombudsman program is designed to support students of all skill levels.

Assessment: Each new student completes an academic assessment in reading, writing and mathematics skills. Based on this assessment and input from the school district, an Individualized Learning Plan is developed. Ongoing assessment of the student's academic skills allows Ombudsman to customize the learning path for each student's needs and expected outcomes.

Strategies: Students in an Ombudsman learning center spend about three-quarters of the day working on computers to master their subjects with assistance from teachers and instructional staff. The rest of the day is spent doing writing assignments, participating in group projects and conducting research. There is one instructor for every 10 or fewer students, so students receive individualized attention. Students stay on task and remain focused, motivated and engaged.

Success:Ombudsman has helped more than 100,000 students since 1979. Eighty-five percent of Ombudsman students graduate, earn credits or return to their district school closer to or at grade level. More important, many students feel successful for the first time. As a result, their overall perception of school improves, their behaviors improve and they have more opportunities for the future.

Ombudsman learning centers are accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

See our State listings below, or check our web site for Ombudsman programs in your region.

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